I encourage all legislators to vote to override the veto of L.D. 1649, An Act To Modernize Maine’s Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development.

Representatives of several different interest groups came together to draft this compromise legislation, which is a better way to produce electric energy for Maine than using fossil fuel. It will create jobs, and improve our environment as well.

More of the money Maine people and businesses pay for electricity will stay in Maine, instead of paying for electricity made from coal, petroleum or natural gas produced elsewhere. This will reduce this cost of bringing the energy to Maine, and much better than subsidizing construction of pipelines to bring natural gas into Maine. This will also create jobs to install solar panels in Maine.

Because electricity can be generated closer to where it will be used it will reduce the cost of distributing electricity. Our distribution companies will not be adversely affected because they will be allowed to build solar farms in Maine.

Other private companies, municipalities and nonprofit organizations will build solar farms to create energy here. Homeowners and small businesses will generate a lot of their own energy.

L.D. 1649 will reduce our contribution to the problem of climate change, which is already causing terrible problems around the world. Oceans are rising and less rain is falling in some places, which reduces people’s ability to grow food.

As time goes by more people will drive electric cars that use solar energy produced in Maine. Freight trains and passenger trains will can use electricity instead of fossil fuel.

I urge anyone who reads this letter to contact their state legislator and urge him or her to support L.D. 1649. It is a better idea than subsidizing companies that burn wood to generate electricity or importing fossil fuel.

Elery Keene